KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — The government’s proposal to end Touch ‘n Go’s (TnG) monopoly in the public transport fare and toll collection payment system has been described as a rational move to create healthy competition and offer users added options.
Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) Business School Economic Analyst Associate Prof Dr Aimi Zulhazmi Abdul Rashid said having more service providers besides TnG was welcomed and he expects the move to resolve congestion at toll plazas.
“Having competition will help improve TnG’s quality of services itself because healthy competition will have a positive effect on stakeholders.
“This will bring about many benefits to the users, including competitive, cheaper and effective services,” he told Bernama.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, in response to a question from a participant at the ‘Meet Anwar’ dialogue at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, said the government will review TnG’s monopoly in the public transport and toll payment system.
The dialogue, organised by the Anwar Ibrahim Club (AIC), was moderated by celebrity Amelia Henderson and participated by over 5,000 youths, who took the opportunity to ask the prime minister questions on a range of issues.
Echoing Prof Aimi Zulhazmi’s views was Putra Business School Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programme director Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff, who said that companies that monopolise businesses tend to charge higher than they should.
Although the government controlled toll rates, he said TnG’s services were found to be unsatisfactory, especially in its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) toll payment system.
“Users have no choice, causing these monopoly companies to take advantage, for example through the sale of TnG cards and RFID tags at high prices,” he said.
He said the best solution to tackle the problem is to implement a system that accepts various payment types.
“… many have ideas about this matter, but what is important is that the government looks into all these ideas in detail and implements them without any more monopoly because one of the goals is to give more choices to consumers,” he said.
As for Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Institute for Social Science Studies director, Prof Dr Haslinda Abdullah, the decision to review TnG’s monopoly will only make an impact if there is a direct effect on the users.
“The interests of these users, if given focus, will have a very positive impact on the existing government, but the decision must also take into account past agreements so that losses on the part of the government can be minimised,” she said.
Over on Twitter, many welcomed and agreed with the government’s decision with some even suggesting the types of payment that can be considered.
In his tweet, @shawn35154099 hopes that a more sophisticated yet simple-to-use system will be implemented, in addition to ensuring that there is no more congestion at toll plazas.
@nonsnonsnons, meanwhile tweeted: “Monopoly or not doesn’t matter, what’s important is there must be various modes of payment, can use credit card, debit card, direct credit to the telephone bill or send the bill to the house. If payment is not settled, don’t allow the (driving) license to be renewed.
@5unaidiy, meanwhile, tweeted “My suggestion at the toll (plazas) is to have various payment options instead of TNG, such as credit cards or just pay wave like other countries.